EMI tape recorder, 1960.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model TR52 tape recorder. The principle of magnetic recording was first devised in 1878 by the American mechanical engineer, Oberlin Smith, who later published his findings in the journal 'Electrical World' (1888). The major leap in its development took place in the 1930s when aeG and IG Farben cooperated to produce the Magnetophone using magnetisable acetate and PVC tape. This tape recorder is one of a series of recorders which were manufactured for semi-profesional applications such as for schools, rescue brigades and broadcasting.